They are Huddersfield’s fundraising heroes and they found the streets of London paved with charity gold.
Runners of all shapes and sizes joined thousands of runners pounding the pavements in a bid to give their chosen charities a much-deserved boost.
People from Kirklees and Calderdale were among the 36,000 competing in today’s London Marathon but it was the Huddersfield Marathon Marching Band which proved the stars on the 26-mile journey of discovery.
The 30 members of the band – aiming to raise £50,000 – reclaimed their world record as the fastest band to run the race, finishing in six hours and 57 minutes.
The band was congratulated by Mayor of Kirklees Clr Martyn Bolt, who has offered a civic reception celebration at Huddersfield Town Hall.
The band, mostly made up of music students from Huddersfield University, were said to be "exhausted but elated."
Lisa Colton, subject leader for music at the university, said: "We are so proud of them. They have beaten the world record and will probably smash their fundraising target as well.
"The students have done all this in addition to their studies, which is fantastic."
Hitting the capital’s streets again was Colne Valley Tory MP Jason McCartney, completing his second marathon in two years.
He finished in 4hrs 57 minutes but beat his fundraising target – as well as political rival Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor!
Jason, who described the weather as baking hot and witnessed fellow runners fainting, said: “I did the first half in a really good two hours.
“But then I wilted and took just under five hours.
“I think I just beat Ed Balls again but it’s a great achievement to get round.
“There was a fantastic atmosphere. On the tube I bumped into a couple of Holmfirth Harriers who were taking part.”
Jason is delighted that he raised over £4,000 for the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.
He added: “I beat my fundraising target from last year of £3,500.
“Forget Me Not is a fantastic hospice and I’m delighted to help them and raise their profile too.”
Dr Robert Moran, who studied at Salendine Nook High School and in Huddersfield, ran the marathon for the first time.
He completed it in a respectable 4hrs 3mins, almost half an hour less than his initial goal.
Robert, who now works for the Department for Transport in London, ran in a particularly striking outfit after raising more than £1,500 for the MS Society.
He said: “I was wearing a red and gold tutu and tiara and I did get a few looks. With the orange MS Society vest it was quite an ensemble.
“But I’m thrilled for the charity and that’s what it’s all about, putting yourself out there in the hope that others will give a little.”
Other runners included 68-year-old Pat Ainsworth, who completed the race for the 17th time.
Dedicated Pat ran in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care and has raised well over £130,000 for charities during her years taking part.
The Emley woman finished in around 6hrs 20mins.
She said: “I’m getting older, I used to do it a lot quicker when I first started.
“I always think I’m not going to do it again, but once you get your medal on and have a cup of tea you think it was all right.
“It was harder this year because it was much warmer.
“But when you hear people calling your name it helps you get to the finish.
“And a lot of the supporters said they had seen me on the TV being interviewed which was lovely.”
Ian Hebblethwaite, 34, of Outlane, completed his first ever – and last – marathon in four hours 29 minutes and 43 seconds.
He said: “I’ve done it now so that’s it for me. The heat made it hard. All my training was done in the wind and rain in Huddersfield.”
The race was won by Wilson Kipsang from Kenya, who set a new course record of 2hrs 4mins and 29secs.
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